Pyro, shown schooling at Keeneland, has arrived at Churchill Downs.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Pyro, shown schooling at Keeneland, has arrived at Churchill Downs.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Daily Derby Notes: April 22

Colonel John and Smooth Air jog at Churchill, Pyro arrives.

(from Churchill Downs)

ADRIANO – Courtlandt Farms’ Adriano jogged a mile before the renovation break Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs with Alice Clapham in the saddle.

“Everything is good here, knock wood,” said Clapham, assistant to Graham Motion. Clapham said Motion would be back in Louisville on Saturday to supervise a Sunday work by Adriano.

Edgar Prado has the mount in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 3.

ANAK NAKAL/COOL COAL MAN – Trainer Nick Zito said Tuesday morning that he likes what he has seen from his two Kentucky Derby hopefuls since they have been training at Churchill Downs.

“So far it’s all good,” Zito said as Anak Nakal came back from a 1 ½-mile gallop under Heather Stark. After the renovation break, Cool Coal Man galloped the same distance under Megan Smillie.

Both colts posted victories over the Churchill Downs surface last year, a statistic that is shared by only four other possible Kentucky Derby starters: Court Vision, Denis of Cork, Monba and Pyro.

Cool Coal Man, owned by Robert LaPenta, is scheduled to work Thursday and Anak Nakal, owned by Four Roses Thoroughbreds, is slated to work Friday.

Rafael Bejarano has the Derby call on Anak Nakal; Julien Leparoux will ride Cool Coal Man.

BIG TRUCK/TALE OF EKATI – Eric Fein’s Big Truck, 11th in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI), worked a half-mile at Keeneland on Tuesday morning in :48.80 for trainer Barclay Tagg. The move was the eighth fastest of 43 at the distance.

Charles Fipke’s Tale of Ekati, winner of the Grade I Wood Memorial on April 5, is scheduled to work Wednesday morning at Keeneland.

Javier Castellano has the Derby mount on Big Truck and Eibar Coa is scheduled to ride Tale of Ekati.

Tagg plans to ship the colts to Churchill Downs on Saturday.

COLONEL JOHN – WinStar Farm’s Colonel John, who arrived at Churchill Downs on Monday afternoon, got his first taste of the historic track after the break Tuesday morning, jogging an easy mile with Karine Lhuillier in the saddle.

Trainer Eoin Harty was asked if he was satisfied with what he saw from his first Kentucky Derby hopeful.

“Yes, absolutely,” Harty said without hesitation.

Before going to the track, Colonel John was outfitted with new hind shoes in Stall 21 of Barn 41, the same end of the barn that housed the most recent Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, in 1978.

“That’s a good spot to be in,” said Harty of the part of the barn that also has housed the likes of Kentucky Derby winners Bold Forbes, Ferdinand, Sunday Silence and, most recently, Fusaichi Pegasus .

Colonel John worked five furlongs Sunday at Santa Anita before shipping and Harty had not set a date for the colt’s next work. Corey Nakatani has the Derby riding assignment.

COURT VISION/Z HUMOR – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s two Kentucky Derby hopefuls, Court Vision and Z Humor galloped Tuesday morning.

Z Humor, owned by Zayat Stables, was partnered by Keith Allen and is scheduled to have his second Churchill Downs work since the April 5 Illinois Derby (GII) on Wednesday. Rene Douglas has the mount in the Derby.

IEAH Stables and WinStar Farm’s Court Vision, winner of the Iroquois (GIII) here last fall, had Joanna Trout up Tuesday for his morning regimen. Mott plans to work Court Vision next Monday or Tuesday. Garrett Gomez has the Derby riding assignment.
DENIS OF CORK – Mr. and Mrs. William Warren Jr.’s Denis of Cork walked the shedrow Tuesday morning at Barn 47, a day after working a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 under Calvin Borel.

“He’s doing fine this morning,” said Kim Carroll, wife of trainer David Carroll who continues to be under the weather.

“David stayed in bed all yesterday except for about a half-hour when he was reading about Denis of Cork’s work.”        

GAYEGO – Cubanacan Stables’ Gayego jogged a mile and then galloped 1 ¼ miles shortly after the track opened with Jody Pieper aboard.

Gayego was outfitted in a shadow roll and tongue tie, something that is a regular part of the colt’s routine, according to trainer Paulo Lobo.

Lobo said the Arkansas Derby (GII) winner would go to the track early each morning.

“He will go out with the second sets (around 6:15 a.m.) because it is cooler and there is less traffic,” said Lobo, who will return to Louisville on Thursday night and stay through Gayego’s scheduled Saturday work.

Mike Smith, who has ridden Gayego in all five of his starts, has the Derby mount.

HALO NAJIB – Zayat Stables’ Halo Najib worked a half-mile on the grass in :50.40 on Tuesday morning with exercise rider Gennero Garcia up.

“I wanted to see how he would handle the grass,” trainer Dale Romans said. “If you don’t get in (the Kentucky Derby), he would go in the Crown Royal (American Turf to be run May 2). It looks like he handled it fine.”

Halo Najib has $157,996 in graded stakes earnings, good for 22nd place on the horses under consideration for Kentucky Derby 134. When entries are taken April 30, the top 20 horses with the most graded earnings will make the starting gate.

PYRO/Z FORTUNE – Reigning “Horse of the Year” Curlin and Louisiana Derby (GII) champ Pyro were the first two off a van that transported trainer Steve Asmussen’s horses from Keeneland to Churchill Downs on Tuesday afternoon.

Both were bedded down in their Barn 38 stalls at 2:30 p.m. – Curlin in Stall 20 and Pyro in 21.

Pyro, owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, worked six furlongs on Monday at Keeneland.

Asmussen’s other Derby hopeful, Zayat Stables’ Z Fortune, walked the shedrow at Barn 38 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning, a day after working a half-mile in :50.20 under the Twin Spires.

Shaun Bridgmohan is slated to ride Pyro in the Derby; Robby Albarado has the mount on Z Fortune.

RECAPTURETHEGLORY – “Jog one (mile) and gallop two (miles) … that’s been his routine since February,” trainer and co-owner Louie Roussel III said of his Kentucky Derby hopeful Recapturetheglory.

The routine was unchanged Tuesday morning as the Cherokee Run colt went through his paces after the renovation break under Lara Van Deren.

The routine figures to be altered Thursday when Recapturetheglory is scheduled to work five furlongs.

E.T. Baird has the mount for the Derby.
SMOOTH AIR – Mount Joy Stables’ Smooth Air got his first feel of the track at Churchill Downs, jogging two miles under Susie Milne. The Smooth Jazz colt came off the track full of energy.

“Two days off and this cool Kentucky air makes him feel good,” trainer Bennie Stutts Jr. said. “His first day back to the track went perfect.”

Smooth Air had worked Saturday at Calder and then shipped to Churchill Downs on Sunday and walked the shedrow Monday. He is scheduled to gallop two miles in the morning with a work scheduled for Sunday.

Stutts, who never has had a Kentucky Derby starter, said he would probably have paddock and gate schooling sessions for Smooth Air, but wasn’t sure when.

Manoel Cruz has the Derby riding assignment.

TRES BORRACHOS – Phil Houchens and Beau and John Greely IV’s Tres Borrachos worked three furlongs in :35.60 Tuesday morning with Andy Durnin up.

With $118,000 in graded stakes earnings, the third-place finisher in the Arkansas Derby (GII) would need many defections to make the Kentucky Derby field that is limited to the top 20 earners in graded stakes. Tres Borrachos sits at 28th on the list of Derby hopefuls.

“It is not really frustrating,” John Greely said. “If a bunch drop out and we get in, fine. If not, we go on the Preakness.”

Beau Greely trains Tres Borrachos and John Greely said the training schedule would be dictated by which race Tres Borrachos winds up in.

VISIONAIRE – Team Valor International and Vision Racing’s Visionaire, fifth in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (GI) on April 5 in his most recent, worked a half-mile in :49.60 at Keeneland under jockey Jose Lezcano on Tuesday morning. The move was the 16th fastest of 43 at the distance.

Visionaire’s date of shipping to Churchill Downs was undetermined by trainer Michael Matz, but he did say that the colt would work under the Twin Spires on Monday.